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Southeast Florida is defined as the eight counties from Indian River and Okeechobee to Monroe, equivalent to Districts 9, 10, 11 and 15 of the Florida Department of Children and Families. That area included 4.5 million people and 307,000 children ages 13-18 in 1990.
Data on educational accomplishments is available from "The 1996 Florida Kids Count Data Book". 29% of kids entering 9th grade drop out of school without receiving a high school or a general equivalency diploma. In 1996, 11,117 children over the age of 16 were not attending school, had not graduated, and were not considered exempt.
In 1995, 17 to 18 percent of public school students in grades 6 to 12 were absent from school for 21 or more days during the academic year. In the same year, 18 percent of the same group of students were suspended in-school; 16 percent of students were suspended out-of-school. In 1994, 16 percent of all arrests were of children. In 1990, 14 percent of people in Florida lived in poverty, and 18 percent of all children lived in poverty. In 1994, the overall population living in poverty totaled 15 percent; while data is currently unavailable, it can be surmised that the percentage of children in poverty has likewise increased. (statistics abstracted from "The Florida Benchmarks Report" published by the Florida Commission on Government Accountability to the People, Feb. 1996)